#Write20Minutes Update



So I started writing 20 minutes per day about a month and a half ago. It’s been super fun and successful. My ms has gone from about 30,000 words to almost 40,000 words. Yesterday I clocked in my twenty minutes, scored 566 words (the kids were out of the house and I had zero distractions), and totalled my ms so far at 39,324 words.

I’m so stoked to have increased my word count by almost 10,000 words since mid May!

So where to go from here…I’m going to keep plugging away at Refining Sylver. I have no idea how long it’ll be, but I’d like to finish it by the end of the year. That would totally make my writing year a blowout!


In addition to my standard writing, I’m going to refine and perfect my opening page for submission to the James River Writer’s Conference in October. Hopefully, they’ll select mine for critique.

I’d also like to clean up my opening chapter and meet up with an agent for one-on-one feedback at same conference. (I’ve never done this before, so if you’ve got any advice, please share.) *How many pages would you ask an agent to read? 2 or 3? In the past I think the meet time is usually only 7 minutes.

Please leave a comment or word of advice! We’re all in this writing thing together!

Check back later this week for my writing notes based on the #write20minutes experience.




Life After The Move

So we’ve been officially in the new house for two weeks and I have to say that moving with kids has been absolutely insane. I don’t recommend it if you don’t have to do it.


Standard maintenance chores on top of unpacking and getting settled has been a little overwhelming. Not to mention that there’s some kind of wake up call that only kids can hear that rolls through this house no later than 6 AM every morning. I’m hoping this is just an adjustment issue that’ll faze out over the next few weeks, but I don’t know.

Geeze Louise there’s a lot of work to do.

On the upside, I’m scraping out 20 minutes to write almost everyday. I don’t always do a great job of it, but I’m determined not to let my writing fall away completely.

So, here’s to summer, and the yearning for some normalcy! (And mixed drinks once the kiddos are in bed. 😉 )

Are you all able to keep up with your summer writing goals? Any breakthroughs, or breakdowns? Leave a comment or word of advice, we’re all in this writing thing together.


Man-O-Man this past week has gone by in a blur! Last Sunday we moved into our new house and spent the last week unpacking like crazy so that we could host our son’s 2nd birthday here this Sunday. (My kids’ rooms below.)

Shoo! I’m so releaved that everything went well. My son got his bug themed party and we got to show off our new digs to all the family.

My son is really into bugs right now, so I added worms and butterflies to his cake.

It’s been weird not having my computer for 7 days. It’s been sitting in a bag beside the bed aching to be used. Feels good to get back into the saddle.

I’m hoping to even get some writing in this week. My poor WIP is weeping with neglect. But I guess it’s more important to have clothes to wear and food to eat and toys to distract my kids with than it is to indulge in the minutia of writing—at least temporarily. But now that we’re almost settled my hubby and I have to turn back to our old place of residence and prepare it for rental. Once again, we have 1 week to clean it up and get it ready.

Alrighty folks, whether or not you see me again this week just depends on the writing gods, Father Time, and my ability to stay awake!


Thank You!

Well, last week I officially got 200 followers on this blog! I’m so grateful to everyone who’s followed, commented, and shared my posts. I have enjoyed getting to know you all and exchanging stories and ideas. So to celebrate this momentous occassion, I would like to share a short excerpt from my current WIP, Refining Sylver.

Part 1 of this novel was posted on Channillo for 4 months last year, and I pulled it down in January with the intention of continuing Part 2 and 3. I’m so excited to be moving forward with this story, which holds the potential of being the first complete novel that might be worth doing something with by Valerie Brown.

I stare at the grey wolf. There are vacant slits were the eyes used to be. I think I’ve forgotten to breathe, because I’m getting lightheaded. My pulse is everywhere: in my fingers, my ears, my temples. I know this animal. I’ve completely forgotten the bar and everyone in it until Dire grabs me by the arm.

“We need to go.”

All I know is I’m moving towards the exit. The wolf hide is getting further away, and I’m wishing for the first time in my life that my wolf senses worked all the time. I desperately want to inhale that wolf’s scent.

My stomach takes a turn for the worse as we enter the alley. I wrench my arm from Dire’s grasp as I vomit on the cobbles.

Dire grabs me by both arms and shoves me towards the parking lot. Tears sting my eyes, but not because I’m heaving dinner. It’s because that wolf skin in the bar was once my father.

Refining Sylver Official Cover

Thanks again for all the support! This writing community is the best!



Two weeks ago I started my #Write20Minutes campaign in order for me to work more steadily on my werewolf novel, Refining Sylver. So, I thought it would be fun to recap and give a total word count since I started documenting my 20 minute endeavors a little over two weeks ago.

Drumroll please…..4,209 words!!! And there’s totally room for improvement because there were 2 or 3 days at the beginning there where I wasn’t documenting my wordage so those numbers are lost to the ether. Also, this week I had a cold so I didn’t write probably 3 days.

I’m so stoked and motivated by this number! I can’t wait to get back on the horse this week and push my novel forward.

So how is your writing? Please leave a comment or word of advice. We’re all in this writing thing together!


As a writer, I’ve always been more of a sit down and write for an hour or more kind-of girl, but lately, life has just become too busy.

Between my kid’s educational needs, recreational needs, and nutritial needs, between buying a new house while also maintaing the old one, between taking my diabetic cat to the vet for ongoing analysis, and celebrating family birthdays, and end of the school year activities–there just aint no time to sit for a hour or more.

Heck, I’m not even sure I get to sit for an hour altogether in the course of a whole day! Maybe if you group together all my meals, bathroom visits, and the occassional instance where my legs happen to give out right next to a chair. 😉


I’m sure most of you parents out there feel my pain. Little ones during those first few years take up so much time and energy–don’t doubt m’ love for them, it’s unceasing–but it would be a welcome break to actually have me-time every day.

As a side-affect of this busy mom-lifestyle, I have suffered a great deal of angst over the past 6 months for not writing more. For not taking every opportunity, or staying up late, or waking up at dawn, to jot down a few paragraphs.

And to be honest, the break between each writing day has been so great, that by the time I can actually sit down for an hour, I have to spend 20 minutes rereading what was going on so that I could even get started.

So! Last week I was running around, doing chores, nagging the kids not to spill things, when it dawned on me to just take 20 minutes to write. My son was ready for his nap. My daughter could play her tablet–yay technology–and perhaps I could write a few words on my fantasy werewolf novel.


Day 1 was an instant success. I topped out around 300ish words for that 20 minutes! Day 2 was even better. I got up into the 400’s. And I’ve maintained the 400ish wordcount every day. But the thing is, even though I’m only writing for 20 minutes, I’m getting things done. My novel is moving forward–1 page at a time, literally. And not only is it moving forward, but I remember what I was doing the day before, so there’s not wasted time to get started. I just sit down for 20 minutes, turn blood into ink, then celebrate my success.

There has been a precipitous drop in my writing anxiety, and a happier outlook because I’m getting to do something for myself every day.

I’ve had such great success and enjoyment from this process, that I couldn’t wait to share it with my writing friends. So, I invite you to participate and write just 20 minutes a day! If you do, please comment on Twitter with your wordcount and the hashtag #write20minutes!

I look forward to sharing and celebrating our writing achievements! Please comment below if you’re a current subscriber to this process and be sure to share any tips you’ve picked up over the years! Remember, we’re all in this writing thing together!

Closing Date!


I’m so excited to announce that my hubby and I have finally found a great house for our family to move into! The exciting news, we close on Friday. I’ve waited such a long time to say anything because we’ve already been under contract twice, and had a contract outright rejected by a seller. We’ve gone through multiple home visits, inspections, and negotiations over the past four months. And let me tell you, dragging a 4 year old and a toddler into stranger’s houses is not only stressful, but insane. I especially hate all the staged homes with breakable knick-knacks sprinkled throughout just in reach of my 22 month olds sticky fingers.

The  house we finally selected was not staged, not even lived in presently. The hardwoods were beautifully polished and the kitchen had the prettiest granite–bits of blue and yellow and green; it looks almost like pressed yellow flowers are embedded into the rock. I can’t wait to make poptarts in there!

Even though we’re pretty much packed, we’ll be putting off our actual moving date until June. Though the house itself is in great shape, the walls are tired and in some places, covered in wallpaper. We’re going to hire a company to come in and paint everything fresh.

My daughter–the 4 year old–has already picked her bedroom and announced where she would like her bed placed. My hubby has already selected a location for his garden. I’ve got a spot for my desk (Let the writing commence!)!

I can’t wait to pick out floor rugs, an informal dining table, and all the little decor bits that go into getting a new place. We’re going to display some of our wedding memorabilia, and we’re going to put out the fancy china in a way that looks pretty and organized (instead of sloppy stacks, as before).

Oh, the fun of starting something new! I can’t wait for it all to begin!